Happiness can’t be pinned down

I thought happiness
was a thing of shape
and size and mass.

In fact, it moves,
flows, glistens,
slips iridescent
through my fingers,

expands unexpectedly,
shrinks down
to nestle in my pocket

a fractal thing,
folds under folds,
then suddenly
lost in the light

A happiness quadrille for Lill at dVerse.


24 thoughts on “Happiness can’t be pinned down

  1. I love this explanation of happiness. I like reading this as I so everything here is happening to me as I read it…and most especially, “my” recognition in the first four lines, that I had happiness wrong. I think many people do indeed have the wrong idea of happiness. What’s that old saying? “The grass is always greener on the other side.” But we learn, it really isn’t. Most especially I love these words:
    “expands unexpectedly,
    shrinks down
    to nestle in my pocket”
    I remember when we were about to have our second child….just 19 months after having our first….I wondered how in the world we could love another as much as we loved our first….but oh yes….the heart expands. And isn’t it wonderful that it does?
    The part about the pocket….reminds me that sometimes we like to keep a little bit of happiness to ourselves, our little secret for a while…to sort of treasure it.
    I really loved your addition to our dVerse Happiness Project!


  2. It’s a slippery thing, best unfettered by expectations. I’m glad you included unexpected in there. With the virus, all expectations have flown out of the window, which can be so disorienting, but can also open a door to unexpected moments of joy. Beautiful quadrille that throws a (very loose) net over happiness.


  3. I liked Lisa’s analogy of “throwing a loose net over happiness. Your poem shines; in terms of content and form, it is a perfect quadrille.


  4. What a wonderful way to describe happiness, Sarah! It is elusive but, when we find it, we try to grab it with both hands. I love the alliteration in the lines:
    ‘a fractal thing,
    folds under folds’
    which sounds like it’s slipping away and then its ‘suddenly lost in the light’.


  5. Happiness as an experience ever-shifting. It really can feel that way. Your words captured that for me. I especially like these lines,
    “slips iridescent
    through my fingers,

    expands unexpectedly,
    shrinks down
    to nestle in my pocket”
    We want to hold onto it and sometimes we can.


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